Outraged silver medallist Alexandra Trusova felt robbed of the gold in women’s figure skating after her Russian teammate Kamila Valieva’s disastrous performance opened the door for a surprise winner.
As NBC’s cameras followed the distraught Valieva behind a curtain, Trusova could be seen wiping tears and reportedly heard in her native Russian language threatening not to go to the podium. It turns out that emotional outburst had less to do with the cruel fate suffered by Valieva – who slipped from first to fourth place after competing under the weight of a doping scandal – and more to do with Trusova finishing second.
“Everyone has a gold medal, everyone, but not me,” Trusova said, according to Reuters. “I hate skating. I hate it. I hate this sport. I will never skate again. Never. It’s impossible. That’s not how it should be.”
Trusova started Thursday in fourth place after her uneven short program. But she loaded up her dazzling four-minute program with five quadruple jumps – there wasn’t a single quadruple attempted in the 2018 Winter Olympics by any female skater – to make a run at the podium.
The 17-year-old Trusova set a record for technical score by breaking 100 points, but NBC analysts Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski knocked her lack of artistry – the other key component in scoring.
The high-flying routine was not enough to pass another Russian teammate, Anna Shcherbakova, who moved up from second to win the gold medal despite including only two quads in her program.
Scherbakova won gold at the 2021 World Championships and Valieva won gold at the 2022 European Championships. Trusova took bronze in both those competitions.
“Over the past three years, I did not win anything,” Trusova told reporters in Beijing.
“I did not win a single important competition and I was trying to explain this by the fact that I was trying to achieve some lofty goals and I have added quadruple jumps. And when I would do this, I would win, I thought. But this didn’t happen. That’s how it is.”
Trusova ultimately relented and took her place on the podium. She declined to answer questions about Valieva – who left the arena without speaking to reporters – and explained her backstage tears as “just because”.
“I wanted to cry, so I cried,” Trusova said. “I’ve been here for three weeks, alone without my mum, without the dogs, so I am crying.”
All three Russians share the same coach. Shcherbakova (255.95) beat Trusova (251.73) by a healthy margin of four points when the short and long program scores were combined, while bronze medallist Kaori Sakamoto of Japan (233.13) was further back.
“In the short and in the free (programs) I did everything I could,” Trusova said. “I am content with my programs, I am happy with my performances.”
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission